Running An Exercise and Staging Questions

66.7% Complete

Facilitator Masterclass Training 8

"We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell.”  — James Stephens

  • Staging Questions and Running An Exercise

    Description:  Did you know that master facilitators determine the quality of questions and interactions they get from an audience? In this masterclass, you’ll learn how to formulate the “staging questions” that generate positive, transformative comments and interactions from your audience.

Masterclass Summary

  • Click the audio below to listen to the masterclass or download it to your device from the DOWNLOADS section below so you can listen on the go.  Each training contains Implementation Exercises and Reflection Questions to help you put this material into practice.  You’ll find the Transcript, Exercises, and Worksheets below.

  • Bad Staging Questions

    Bad Question 1 = Any Questions?

    This asks people to do a ton of work. While they are doing the exercise or listening to your lecture, they are constantly talking to themselves. They say things like:

    Oh that’s profound!

    Well, that’s not true all the time.

    Oh that reminds me of that time when I was mad at my sister.

    Huh, I never thought of it that way.

    Well, that won’t work in my situation

    I wonder if this guy knows what he’s talking about?

    notice that only one of these typical thoughts is a question, and the one question in the bunch (“I wonder if this guy knows what he’s talking about?) isn’t likely to be the kind of thing someone wants to share. That means that when you ask “any questions” no one thinks they have one. It’s also puts the risk on the participant. There’s a pretty big social cost to speaking up in a crowd and sounding stupid – so unless you are absolutely clear you have a question AND the question you have is going to make you look good, you are unlikely to raise your hand when someone asks “Any questions” which is why even in a room 1000 people you’ll often get 0 hands up after that prompt.

    It is effective, however if you want to give the room a sense of completion. I’ll sometimes ask “any questions” right before a lunch break when I want to give the room the feeling that all questions have been answered, because no one raises their hand and then I can say “Great! that means we’re ready for lunch…be back in your seats in 90 minutes…”

    Bad Question 2 = What do you guys think about this topic?

    Still asking for a ton of work – and its open to any thoughts. “this is dumb” is as valid an answer as an hour long monologue on the history of the topic, but neither of those is really what you want in your training room.

    Bad Question 3 = Ok, is everyone with me so far?

    This programs people to say yes even when the real answer is no.  Also – if someone has misunderstood the topic, they won’t be “with you”… but they may THINK they are…

    If you don’t expect anyone to answer or speak up (even if they are NOT “with you”) then this can be an effective way of creating the impression of completion and moving on to a new topic, but wouldn’t it better to actually CREATE completion rather than just the impression of it?

  • Good Staging Questions

    Good staging questions make people look good while at the same time showing them that there’s more to learn and furthers the topic…

    Part 1 – “lead the witness”

    If you want the dialog in your course rooms to further the teaching, then ask questions that point DIRECTLY to your clear story. You can ask specific questions about each of the 4 elements of your story:

    1) Staging questions related to “You Think…”

    “Who has had experience consistent with (the “you think”)?” – then the follow up question… “what was that like?”

    “Who can remember a time when you were really challenged by (the “you think”)?”

    “What was that like?”

    or you can take it deeper…

    “Is there a part of you that still wants to believe (the “you think”)?” What does that part want for you? What advice do you have for that part?

    2) Staging questions related to the “But Really…”

    “Who had an experience in this exercise of (the “But Really…”)?

    What was that like?

    “Who felt (the “But Really”) in a deeper way just now? What will you do to remember that and really carry it with you?”

    or you can take it deeper…

    “Who can still feel themselves resisting (the “But Really…”)? What would have to begin to trust in order to start taking advantage of this new belief?”

    3) Staging questions related to the “If you just…” (the main action!)

    “Who was able to do the (If you just…”) ..[ether in the exercise or in the past]? What was that like? What were you noticing or paying attention to?

  • Easy to Agree With (Adding Softeners)

    Basic Softeners: (a small sample) “sometimes”, “similar to”, “kind of”, “ever”

    Ex: “Who has bad hair days” becomes “Who’s ever had kind of a bad hair day”

    Ex: “Do you lie?” because “Do you sometimes say things that kind of similar to lies”

    Basic softeners make a question easier to answer and easier to agree with its premise, but can also “water down” the impact and feeling of “true” or “profound”

    Advanced softeners can be more effective when used tastefully, making the question easier to answer and agree with but still maintaining its potency.

    Advanced Softeners: (a small sample) “some part of you”, “what is an example of”, “who can relate to”, “might have”

    Ex: “Did you have a breakthrough?” becomes “What is an example of a breakthrough you might have experienced”?

    Ex: “Do you feel more powerful now?” becomes “Does some part of you feel more powerful now? Who else can relate to that?”

  • Follow ups: Forcing Answers Through the Filter

    1) General Staging questions:

    “Who had a realization they want to make sure to remember?”

    “Who did something that surprised them in some way?”

    “who else had a similar experience?” ← to stay on topic but change who you are talking to

    “who else had the opposite experience?” ← especially useful for when you want to reverse the direction of conversation in the room

    “Was there any part of your experience that was new or unfamiliar”?

    “What was the purpose of that exercise do you think?”

    2) Follow up questions

    “What was that like”

    “How does that relate to your life going forward”

    “What will you do to integrate what you learned?”

    “Why do you think it occurred that way for you?”

    “What did you call upon to create that for yourself”?

    “What did you notice about that?”

    3) Summarizing based on the Clear Story…

    “So can you see that if you (do the “if you just” in your life) you might have more of (the “then you’ll get”)?

    “Yes, that’s exactly what happens when you start to move from (the “you think”) to (the “but really”)!

    “So what are some things you might do in your life to get more of (the “then you’ll get”) now?”

  • Running An Exercise

    1) Have everything you are going to say WRITTEN DOWN until you’ve done the exercise a dozen times with groups. The exact wording of the instructions is so important. People usually really want to get value and therefore “do it right”. And they dont know what part of your instruction is crucial and what part could change without having any effect on the outcome – because they’ve never done the exercise.

    2) Be specific. Don’t say “introduce yourselves”. Say “introduce yourself by stating your name, the city where you live, and 1 think you are proud of.”  Don’t say “Sit down with your partner”. Say “Sit across from your partner so that your knees are almost touching.”

    3) When giving instructions, break them into chunks. If you are breaking people into groups, make sure to explain the entire exercise before you tell them to get into groups. People will not resist just talking with each other in groups and it will be hard to regain the room’s attention.

    4) Roam and listen. Guide people back to the exercise. It can be tempting to turn each interaction into a 1:1 coaching session, but stick to the lesson that is meant to be

    5) Its ok if some people don’t like it, get it, do it. You should treat your exercise like a gourmet buffet, not a date. If people don’t want to take full advantage of the amazing food, that’s totally fine and up to them. Its not letting you down, breaking an agreement, or rejecting you. Keep your rooms feeling good and relaxed. Let people know what value they might be missing out on, but don’t make them wrong or judge them. That will create an unsafe space and other participants will start to disengage.

  • Implementation Exercises

    The key to getting value from any endeavor resides in your willingness to integrate what you are learning and implement it in your life.  All new thought and new ideas are useless unless we act upon them.  The same is true in this course.

    If your goal is to be the kind of person that catalyzes change for others it will require you to step just outside of what’s known and what’s comfortable to act as you breathe and accept the challenges that lie before you.

    “You can’t cross a sea by merely staring into the water.” — Rabindranath Tagore

    As you begin to create your content for a group facilitated experience, you’ll need to begin with determining which clear story you plan on presenting and then adding engaging and transformational elements to that clear story. Complete the exercises below to create your content for a group facilitation.  If you are using RECODE content to become a RECODE FACILITATOR then much of this work is done for you and it’s a matter of learning and practicing it.  You’ll find that information in the RECODE WORKBOOK.

    Please note as a professional if you end up using our RECODE content in your non RECODE events please attribute us and this program.  Do not replicate our material without attribution.

    1) Based on your answer to the reflection questions above, write out 10 staging questions that “lead the witness” (guide your participants) to the exact discoveries about themselves you most want them to have. Don’t forget to use some basic and advanced softeners.

  • Self Reflections

    Reflections exercises are one or more questions that we’d like you to be in deep consideration of for the entire week.  These are meant to be shared with your family, friends, and community so that they can offer you a more complete 360 view of yourself, your identity, and your reality.

    Everyone has blind spots.  These are areas where we are less developed that are outside our view.  Getting reflections will point out things that you might not ever know yourself.

    In addition, the more you consider these reflection questions the more likely you’ll be able to break through your current level of thinking and use the exercises to leap frog into a new level of consciousness.

     Here is this weeks self reflection question.

    1) Pick a section from the RECODE material that you are teaching, OR pick a section from your own teachings. What questions are you most hoping your participants will have? Imagine they are talking to their best friend after your course / workshop / talk. What do you want them to say was the big “take away” they learned?

    2) Notice if your answer to #1 is primarily focused on A) you, B) the material or C) themselves. Its natural for your attention to go toward A and B, but that usually indicates some insecurity about yourself or the material. What would you have to believe in order to have 100% of your focus be on what the participants say about themselves after your course / workshop / talk?

[membership_download style="2"][/membership_download]

Up Next - Facilitator Masterclass 9 - How to Create JV Partnerships